Getting customers and keeping them seems to be the focus of every marketer. Avoid churn, keep customers engaged, send out targeted campaigns that will convert your readers into loyal customers – all of these things are helpful and good practice.
What can come as a shock to marketers is when you do all of this, and you do it well, and then customers still leave. We see this happen from time to time, and it often has the same root cause: customers move on faster than companies can adapt.
Is this the marketing department’s problem? Product innovation and technological advancement is not necessarily a marketer's responsibility or wheelhouse, right? I mean, you aren’t in charge of how fast your software is compared to a competitor’s, nor will you be directing all the features. I guess you could have a say based on customer feedback or the results you’ve seen from different conversion points during the purchase process. But, there isn't much more you can do.
Or, is there!?
As the one directing the image, voice, and overall brand of the company, it is your responsibility to keep it up to date and relevant. As the person out there interacting and engaging the customers, you have the ability to peer into their world to figure out what they want and need.
A lot of times, what the customers are missing from your brand is actually within the marketing department's control. Much of a customer's interest in a product comes from emotional motivations, not specific app features or having the fastest software. We are on this planet to thrive and survive. If we aren’t providing a way for our customers to do that, then we are probably missing something.
For example, if you send out a survey and learn that you are losing customers because they feel your brand is outdated and doesn't foster the same sense of community as other companies, this is a marketing problem. Everyone needs to be pulling their weight in the company. That’s why you all exist. If Product Development could do it by themselves, then they would. If Marketing could do it by themselves, well, they would. But they can’t. We’ve spoken about the harmony that must exist between Marketing and Sales. It’s pretty much the same for everyone.
Customer service can fall on a marketer's shoulders too. If you aren't promoting your customer service, selling it as the main benefit of your company, and getting customer service operators on all channels (email, text, Twitter), then you aren't doing your job as a marketer to keep your company moving with the changing times.
And that's what it really comes down to: a lot of the “staying up to date” aspects of a company outside of the nitty gritty technical innovations is about marketing. Because nothing is changing as fast as how we communicate. This means that to keep your company relevant, you need to dive into the ever-changing world of digital marketing, and analyze not just what is working now, but what is going to be working 6 months or 5 years from now.
It isn't an easy task. But if one thing seems certain, technology isn't slowing down, and a company's ability to adapt and change along with it is becoming a prerequisite for success.
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